Lotus UK has been briefed to run the STO's UK PR office as well as provide crisis management and event support. The agency takes over from rival travel PR shop Mango, which has held the account for four years. It is understood the contract has expired.
Although Spain remains the UK's favourite holiday destination, with 14 million visitors in 2009, this was down 11 per cent from 15.8 million in 2008. Overall, international visitors to Spain dropped from 57.3 million in 2008 to 52.2 million last year. A weakening pound against the euro has created a perception that Spain is poorer value than non-euro destinations.
The STO has launched a EUR40m marketing campaign called 'I need Spain'. It seeks to position Spain as more than a beach sun destination, focusing on cultural attractions.
Lotus UK already holds the Ibiza and Andorra tourism PR accounts. STO's UK director Ignacio Vasallo said: 'Lotus' in-depth understanding of the Spanish market meant it was the natural choice.'
The account will be led by Lotus PR director Jules Ugo.